The Financial Express

BGMEA opposes TIB statement on RMG workers' wage

Published: April 24, 2019 21:24:09 | Updated: April 25, 2019 10:35:13

BGMEA opposes TIB statement on RMG workers' wage

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has opposed a recent statement of Transparency International, Bangladesh (TIB) over implementation of wage structure for readymade garment workers.

 The association claimed that the statement of not adjusting 5 per cent annual automatic increment with the basics of the new wage structure is not found true, reports BSS.

"The accumulated impact of 5 per cent automatic annual increments yields an aggregated 27.63 per cent increment to the basics in all grades over 5 years, the actual increase by the minimum wage board was made at rates ranging from 28.7 per cent to 36.7 per cent,” a BGMEA press release said.

“We would appreciate if TIB clarifies the methodology of their calculation,” the release added.

Referring to the time-bound production target and production efficiency as a continuous process, BGMEA said it is not fixed on month-wise basis.

“We have to keep in mind that we are operating in a global market place where economic competitiveness matters most. Whereas China, Vietnam and Turkey’s efficiency are 65 per cent, 55 per cent and 70 per cent respectively, we are at 40 per cent to 45 per cent only,” the trade body added.

BGMEA said, there was no correlation with the increase in minimum wage and efficiency as considered by the minimum wage board.

“However, for future reference to sustain competitiveness of this industry wages should always be linked to skills. BGMEA will strongly recommend wage – skill matrix so that the workers get paid according to their skills,” BGMEA added.

Referring to the time that workers take to use toilets during working hours, BGMEA said, this is not appreciated and also random references to workers working overtime without additional payment is also not properly substantiated by TIB.

“Similarly, the issue of unpaid or unmet compensation is not substantiated and detailed data is sought from TIB on these matters,” BGMEA added.

BGMEA said in the light of the misinterpretation and misrepresentation of the facts BGMEA could formally like to sit and collaborate with TIB to assess the actual situation based on a substantial sample size.

 “Publication of such reports at a time sensitive point, just a day before Rana Plaza anniversary, is not appreciated,” BGMEA added.

BGMEA informed that “Ours is an industry where the exports alone are over US$ 30 billion; striking improvements in safety and workers’ rights have occurred over the past years. To condemn the whole industry based on a study with a sample size of 80 respondents is indeed unjust.”

Earlier on Tuesday, TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman claimed that garment workers did not get their wages raised but those were actually reduced by 26 per cent in the new pay structure if the annual 5 per cent increment system is taken into consideration.

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